Magnetic Slime Robotics Benefits From Non-Invasive Medical Applications

When you think of robotic surgery, your mind may conjure images of remotely controlled robot arms whirring over a patient. But you might not imagine a magnetic slime robot that squirms through narrow passages, grasp objects, and even fix broken circuits.

Scientists from the Chinese University of Hong Kong created the magnetic slime by mixing neodymium magnet particles with borax and polyvinyl alcohol, a kind of resin. The resulting goo is strong and elastic, but also conductive.


Modern warfare will be based on technology and self-healing robots are set to play an important role. These robots can be used to replace soldiers on the battlefield and repair them when they are damaged. Moreover, they can save the government money by reducing the number of wounded troops.

Researchers in Hong Kong have developed a magnetic slime robot that can navigate narrow passages and grasp objects, as well as fix itself if it’s cut into pieces. The custard-like substance combines neodymium magnet particles, borax and polyvinyl alcohol.

The magnetic slime can also be deployed inside the body to grab physical objects that are swallowed by accident. It could even be used to deliver drugs or perform minimally invasive surgery. However, the team is still working on a protective coating to make the material safe for medical applications.


When people think of medical robots, they may envision remote-controlled robotic arms whirring over a patient. But they probably don’t think of a magnetically controlled slime robot slithering through the stomach like some kind of sci-fi ooze.

The slug-like robots use neodymium magnets to change shape and grab objects. They’re able to fit into tight spaces, wrap around wires and even repair electric currents between cut wires.

The team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong is focusing on using the robots for non-invasive surgery. They’re also working on a protective coating to make the slime safe for human bodies. This would reduce the need for hospital visits and lower costs. Eventually, the robots could be used to remove potentially harmful objects like small batteries if they are accidentally swallowed.


A team of researchers from CUHK has created an elastomer-based slime robot with magnetic actuators buried inside that can be controlled by external magnets. The robot is able to change shape and grasp objects like an octopus tentacle, and its soft consistency allows it to squeeze into narrow spaces. It also has the ability to self-heal from cuts.

The team has conducted several experiments with the robot, including a test where they punched it a total of six times and found that it could detect the punctures and automatically repair them within a minute. The technology has the potential to enhance the functionality of soft robotics and help them reach more difficult locations within the human body.

While the slime robot may look a little fecal, it has life-saving potential. Its ability to encase hazardous objects and provide a protective barrier will buy time until professional intervention is possible.


Scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed a magnetic slime robot that can change shape, navigate tight spaces and grip objects. The team mixed neodymium magnet particles with borax and polyvinyl alcohol to create a non-Newtonian fluid that can act like both a solid and a liquid. The robot is also conductive and can wrap around wires to repair them.

The team plans to use the robot for non-invasive medical applications. They hope to attach it to a patient’s stomach tissue and use it to retrieve objects that patients have swallowed by accident. The robots are still toxic due to the neodymium magnets, but researchers plan to develop a protective coating to make them safe for health care.

The sluglike robot has a sci-fi look and can even wrap around objects like an octopus tentacle. Its elasticity allows it to stretch a long way from point A to B, which is important for repairing power lines.


Researchers at CUHK have developed a magnetic slime robot that can change shape, grasp objects and move through human bodies like an octopus tentacle. The elastomer-based robot is a promising candidate for non-invasive medical applications, including drug delivery and circuit switching. Unlike rigid medical robots, it can fit through narrow passages in the body.

The team designed eight experiments, each exposing the robots to a gradient of light that is bright on one side and dims towards the other. During the first half of the experiment, the robots were randomly distributed in the arena and had a higher chance of finding the tree structure.

The researchers tracked the robots using an overhead camera and blob detection algorithms. They used the blobs to create images and monitor the robot movements over time. The resulting heatmaps reveal the cumulative distribution of the robots over the course of the eight experiments.